Wānaka Sun       

Family heartened by sighting of debris

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 15 Oct, 2020 | By Pat Deavoll editor@thewanakasun.co.nz

The family of missing Southland man Lochie Bellerby is heartened by the news that "significant debris" from the capsized Gulf Livestock 1 ship has turned up on the Tokara Islands off the coast of Japan.

The ship left New Zealand in mid-August carrying 5800 cows to Tangshan on China's eastern coast.

Three people from the ship were found after the capsize but only two of survived.

Last Friday, the Bellerby family said in a statement they were hopeful of there being "signs of life" following the sighting of debris.

"The debris was found following a privately funded search of the Tokara Islands, a chain of 12 small islands of which seven were inhabited.

"The debris includes a canopy of a Viking life-raft, a life ring, a single blue boot, several deceased cows, and three orange barrels strapped together."

The family who had been contributing to funding a private search stated it had cost about NZ$54,000 of donated money on fixed-wing flights and NZ$81,000 on helicopter flyovers.

The search by satellite would continue and, last weekend, a privately-funded aircraft search happened at Amami Islands.

"The families are working with maritime experts to identify the items and other potential areas of interest."

The information collected had been passed on to the Japanese Coast Guard by Australian authorities.

"The Bellerby family are calling on the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs for official diplomatic support with the Japanese Coast Guard while the window of survivability remains possible."

Lucy Bellerby, Lochie Bellerby's mother, lives in Wānaka.

Read edition 996 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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